Heidi Shierholz

Heidi Shierholz leads the Economic Policy Institutes’ Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages, a policy response team that tracks the Trump administration’s wage and employment policies. She also heads EPI’s efforts to advance a worker-centered policy agenda.

Articles by this author

Reinstating and extending pandemic UI provisions would create or save more than five million jobs. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, December 03, 2020
Unless Congress Acts, Millions of Americans Will Soon Be Left With No Safety Net
Another 1.0 million people applied for UI benefits last week, including 712,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 289,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). After two weeks of increases, the 1.0 million who applied for UI last week was a welcome decline of 105,000...
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Senate Republicans are failing struggling families. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Millions Will Lose Unemployment Benefits in December Unless GOP Senators Act
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday this week, data on unemployment insurance (UI) claims—usually released on Thursdays—were released today. The data show that another 1.1 million people applied for UI benefits last week, including 778,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 312,000 who applied...
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Senate Republicans are failing struggling families. (Photo: Getty Images) Views
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Not Just Cruel, GOP Blocking Unemployment Aid Is Terrible Economics
More than 1.0 million people applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits again last week, including 709,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 298,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is the federal program that provides up to 39 weeks of benefits for...
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This is a preventable disaster for the workers of this country. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Monday, November 02, 2020
Thanks to Mitch McConnell, 30 Million Workers Head Into Election Day Unnecessarily Hurting
One of the most frequent questions I’ve gotten in the last few months is, “How many workers are being hurt by the coronavirus recession?” There is a huge amount of confusion about this because two major, completely separate, government data sets that address this question are reporting very...
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Workers in this pandemic aren’t just losing their jobs—an estimated 12 million workers and their family members have lost employer-provided health insurance due to COVID-19. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Let's Be Very Clear: Senate Republicans Have Failed Every Struggling American Family
Another 1.1 million people applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits last week, including 751,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 360,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is the federal program for workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment...
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Due to the impact of historic and current systemic racism, Black and Latinx communities have seen more job loss in this recession and have less wealth to fall back on. (Photo: Giles Clarke/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, October 22, 2020
With Millions of People Out of Work, the Senate’s Inaction Is Not Only Cruel, It’s Bad Economics
Another 1.1 million people applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits last week. That includes 787,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 345,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is the federal program for workers who are not eligible for regular...
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Not providing aid to state and local governments will also cost millions of jobs. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, October 08, 2020
1.3 Million People Filed Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Last Week
Another 1.3 million people applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits last week. That includes 840,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 464,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is the federal program for workers who are not eligible for regular...
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This means that stimulating the economy to create jobs is crucial—both to the 33.0 million workers who are being directly harmed by the recession because they are either out of work or have had their hours and pay cut, and to the millions more who saw their bargaining power disappear as the recession took hold. (Photo: Witthaya Prasongsin/iStock/Getty Images) Views
Friday, September 25, 2020
At Least 33 Million Workers Are Being Hurt by the Coronavirus Recession
The most frequent question I’ve gotten in the last few months is “how many workers are being hurt by the coronavirus recession?” There is a huge amount of confusion about this because two major, completely separate, government datasets that address this question are reporting very different numbers...
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"Most people on UI are now are forced to get by on the meager benefits that are in place without the extra payment, benefits which are typically around 40% of their pre-virus earnings," writes Shierholz. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, September 03, 2020
Total Initial UI Claims Have Risen in Each of the Last Four Weeks
Last week 1.6 million workers applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Breaking that down: 881,000 applied for regular state unemployment insurance, and 759,000 applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This is the fourth week in a row that total initial claims have risen...
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) conducts a news conference after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in the Hart Building on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, August 27, 2020
UI Claims Remain Historically High and the President’s Executive Memorandum Is Doing More Harm Than Good
Last week 1.4 million workers applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Breaking that down: 822,000 applied for regular state unemployment insurance (not seasonally adjusted), and 608,000 applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Some headlines this morning are saying there were 1...
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